Pain severity and pain interference during major depressive episodes treated with escitalopram and aripiprazole adjunctive therapy: a CAN-BIND-1 report Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Escitalopram may have pain-alleviating effects for patients with comorbid pain and depression. This study aimed to quantify improvements in pain for patients on escitalopram and adjunctive aripiprazole. A secondary analysis of the CAN-BIND-1 trial was conducted which only included participants with a current depressive episode and pain. Participants received escitalopram (10-20mg) for eight weeks and treatment response was defined as a reduction in Montgomery-├ůsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) of at least 50% from baseline. Non-responders at week 8 received adjunctive aripiprazole (2-10mg) for another eight weeks. The Brief Pain Inventory's pain severity (PSC) and pain interference (PIC) composite scores were measured at baseline, week 8, and week 16. Linear regression was used to determine how PSC and PIC differed between treatment responders and non-responders. Eighty-two participants with pain and depression received escitalopram. PSC and PIC decreased significantly regardless of treatment response at week 8, although responders had significantly lower PSC and PIC than non-responders. For the group receiving aripiprazole after week 8, neither PSC nor PIC improved further. Further research is needed to identify interventions that might treat both pain and depression symptoms.


  • Diep, Calvin
  • Rosenek, Norma
  • Khoo, Yuelee
  • Gandhi, Wiebke
  • van Reekum, Carien M
  • Ravindran, Arun V
  • Ladha, Karim S
  • Frey, Benicio
  • Milev, Roumen V
  • Rotzinger, Susan
  • Lam, Raymond W
  • Kennedy, Sidney H
  • Lou, Wendy
  • Salomons, Tim
  • Bhat, Venkat

publication date

  • June 2022